The ANCYL Crisis Committee said it was infuriated by the behaviour of the protesters which sought to “undermine the authority of the state”
THE ANC Youth League Crisis Committee has called for the farmers who were involved in violent clashes with the police to be arrested.
The farmers had come out in their numbers to protest outside the Senekal Magistrate’s Court in the Free State, where two suspects – Sekwetje Mahlamba and Sekola Matlaletsa – were appearing in connection with the farm murder of Brendin Horner, 21, who was a farm manager.
The protesting farmers set a police van on fire during clashes with the police and videos showed a group of them trying to topple a police Nyala.
The protest has been widely condemned, with Police Minister Bheki Cele expressing “shock and disgust’’ over the violent demonstration, while EFF leader Julius Malema slammed the police response to the incident.
Asanda Luwaca, a spokesperson for the ANCYL Crisis Committee, which is a body of young people opposed to the league’s task team headed up by “elders” after the Collen Maine-led youth league was dismantled last year in July, said they were infuriated by the behaviour of the protesters which sought to “undermine the authority of the state” by seeking to unleash mob justice upon the two suspects.
“This is a calculated and deliberate move by criminals who sympathise with apartheid and its explicit endorsement of the supremacy of a particular race as an organising ideology of social life.
“The attempts to intensify racial tensions and spark civil war must be condemned with the contempt they deserve and all elements who actively participated must be arrested.
“While we equally condemn all manner of violence and the crime of murder, we caution those who are under the impression that they are above the law and are intent on organising violence on the basis of race, to desist from divisive and intellectually malnourished postures and a general display of idiocy, instead they must formulate progressive conversations, with considerations of acceptable intellectual height,” said Luwaca.
Luwaca said they condemned farm murders and all murders within the country.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, AfriForum branded farm attacks and murders as a form of terror.
“The fury that the people expressed here today is the consequence of the cruelty of a problem that simply persists, coupled with the government’s lackadaisical attitude towards farm murders.”
Malema on Tuesday was scathing about the police response to the violence outside the court.
‘’Whites don’t play; they are dealing with this clownish government of their puppet @CyrilRamaphosa. No single rubber bullet shot. Can you imagine if it was black people?’’ Malema said on Twitter.
Cele also questioned the demonstrators’ motives in “turning their anger towards the police”.
“Police reports indicate that following the brief court appearance, around a hundred demonstrators, among them armed farmers, stormed into the court building demanding the suspects be handed over,’’ the Police Ministry said.
’’This violent act resulted in the vandalism of court property and a police vehicle was also overturned and set alight. Police had to use tear gas to disperse the violent group.’’
Cele said: “While we all condemn the gruesome killing of this young man in Paul Roux, absolutely no one has the right to take the law into their own hands – no matter what the situation is. This type of lawlessness can’t be justified nor taken lightly.
“There is no logic when these protesters burn a police van, which is the same resource that is meant to assist them.
’’It is also baffling why the anger of this community is being directed towards the police when arrests have been made by the police and the suspects are before the courts.’’
Cele reminded all South Africans that while the right to protest peacefully is part of any democratic society, it is ’’not absolute and it comes with responsibilities’’.
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola was the latest to condemn the violent protest on Wednesday.
No arrests have been made.